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Title: Self discrepancy, emotional distress and functioning in traumatic brain injury.
Author: Arena, Katia F.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 2681
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2008
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Background: Individuals who have sustained a traumatic brain injury (TB I) may face a number of challenges in physical, psychological, and social domains, which may result in emotional distress. Changes in level of functioning and self-concept have been found to be particularly salient in the experience of emotional distress, as individuals with a TBI may mourn the loss of their previous abilities, roles, and relationships which defined their identity. Objectives: This study aims to examine whether the relationship between level of functioning and emotional distress may be explained by discrepancies between pre- injury and post-injury self-concept. Design: A single sample within-group design was used to investigate the associations between self-discrepancies, level of functioning, and emotional distress. Method: Seventy individuals with a TBI were recruited from statutory and voluntary community services. Participants completed the Head Injury Semantic Differential ill to measure self-discrepancies, and the Beck Depression Inventory 2nd edition and the Beck Anxiety Inventory to measure emotional distress. The Mayo-Portland Adaptability Inventory-4 was completed by a health professional or significant other to obtain a measure of participants' current level of functioning on domains of abilities, adjustment and participation. Results: Correlational analyses revealed pre-injury and ideal self-states were significantly different (in the same direction) from current self, but also significantly different from each other. Significant associations were also found between lower levels of functioning and higher levels of self-discrepancies. Regression analyses provided support for the hypothesis that higher psychological distress and lower levels of functioning would be mediated by self-discrepancies. Conclusions: Self-discrepancies clearly play an important role in an individual's level of functioning and experience of emotional distress post-TB!. The complex interaction between these constructs requires future research to further elucidate their relationships. In addition, the development of more holistic approaches in clinical interventions and rehabilitation for this client group are recommended.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available